The present NOSPlan logo was designed during the time of the 7th Annual NOSPlan Convention ‘Congruence’, hosted by the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, in 2004-05. The key purpose was to establish and formalise the NOSPlan brand. Until that time, various NOSPlan conventions used to have branding and individual logos, but there was no consistency in the identity of the organisation as such. This was also a time when efforts were on to establish the organisation as a registered organisation – although that didn’t bear results immediately.
In terms of the actual design, when we started out with the concepts, our first idea was to have something that was fairly easy to reproduce – much like the logo of SPA Delhi, with the concentric triangles. So we started with basic geometric shapes – a single large square, inset with 4 smaller squares overlapped diagonally going top to bottom, left to right. Then we used these squares to populate the main letters of the acronym – N, O, S, P – and ‘Plan’ being one word – got fitted into the bottom-most square. The other was to use just a 2-tone colour palette – hence the blue and grey – although arguably there is also white.
Another idea was to introduce the blocks and voids approach to the graphic, leading to the white bands through the 4 squares. (pretty similar to the urban form diagrams planners do).
It is true that the stamp of it, i.e. the seal of the organisation, was pretty impressive looking.
To make the logo a bit contemporary, we softened two of the corners to rounded ones – the top-right and bottom-left. And finally used the top and right edges to include the full name of the organisation – because plain lines along all edges were too bland. The Hindi phrase (Pragatyev Pratishtha) was suggested by Fani Bhushan, and besides its meaning – Prestige/Dignity is Development – also introduced some Hindi text in the logo, which helped us break away from English-only.
The logo was selected from a host of other options – the process did go on for quite a while before finalising this.